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Thousands pack Churchill Square to join call for ceasefire in Gaza

Edmontonians took part in one of a series of demonstrations across Canada, and the world, on Saturday. It was billed as a National Day of Action and organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement, which called for an end to the bloodshed in Gaza.

The Edmonton demonstration, downtown at Churchill Square, mirrored dozens of other coordinated gatherings in dozens of Canadian cities from Victoria and Vancouver in the West, Whitehorse and Yellowknife in the North, to Halifax and St. John’s in the East and in virtually every major population-centre in between.

Demonstrators called for an end to what they denounce as Israeli genocide and Canada’s complicity in it; for the immediate material and medical aid of the people of Gaza; and for an immediate ceasefire.

“The Palestinian community in Canada has felt dehumanized, vilified, and othered as a result of our politicians’ refusal to call for an immediate ceasefire and the racist rhetoric they have employed. Palestinians and our allies have come together today across the country because we cannot remain silent as Israel continues to commit a genocide in Gaza,” Dalia Awad, of the Palestinian Youth Movement Toronto said in a media release.

“We call on Canada to stand up for human rights and call for an immediate ceasefire, place an arms embargo on Israel and work to end the over 16 year-long blockade on Gaza.”

Conflict erupted in the region on October 7 when Hamas militants mobilized out of the Gaza strip and invaded sites in Be’eri, Israel, including a music festival. More than 1,400 people were killed, 240 others were taken hostage.

Since then, the Israeli response has killed approximately 9,500 people in Gaza, Hamas spokesman Salama Marouf said in a Saturday press conference.

Here are some photos and videos posted to social media sites from the Edmonton rally on Saturday at Churchill Square.

Featured image posted to Facebook by Touati Takoua at Churchill Square, Edmonton, during National Day of Action for Palestine on Saturday, November 4 2023, and linked above.